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Featured Reviews

Have you heard It: Raheem Kemet – SomerSALT

Durban MC, the critically acclaimed Raheem Kemet, dropped his latest music video in April and it’s one to tell your homies about. The stunning visuals to Raheem’s ‘SomerSALT’ track from Sony Music Africa are out and it’s a real introspective look into his life in Durban, the ups and downs and what the future holds. This is one hungry MC who is ready to take over 2020.

Keep your eye on Raheem, follow & stream this local artist before he blows up all over Africa. Follow him on Deezer, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

Single Review: Bakai – Under Those Trees Feat Manu Grace

Bakai are back in a big way with their new track titled ‘Under Those Trees‘. This time, they bring in the world class talent Manu Grace, to lace a touch of sultry gracefulness to take this groovy lo-fi house tune to the next level.

image of bakai under the trees
Under The Trees by Bakai Feat. Manu Grace.

Featured on powerhouse Cape Town based indie label, Kudukudu, Bakai’s atmospherically beautiful signature vibe is back with this summer banger for your face. I spent a good 20 minutes playing this track again and again just to properly soak up its brilliance. My cat ‘Socks‘ can confirm that my dance moves are average but this song is definitely not. With a music video surely on the way, this is a dreamy masterpiece you should hear on every decent radio station and pumped up loud in your local club. If not, please have a little chat to the DJ, yes?

Tell your friends and family about Bakai and Manu Grace and support these quality acts. Get your feet moving and grooving. Follow Bakai on YouTube and Facebook. Follow Manu Grace on YouTube and Facebook.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

Raheem Kemet returns with fire single ”SomerSALT’

Legendary Durban MC and poet, Raheem Kemet is back with new music and it definitely has been worth the wait.

image of raheem kemet
Single artwork: SomerSALT by Raheem Kemet

SomerSALT‘ is the name of the new track from Raheem released through Sony Music Africa and it’s a street banger of note. If this is a taste of what’s to come then we are all in for a treat in 2020. With more music and videos on the way, you will want to turn this up real loud.

Stream SomerSALT by Raheem Kemet on Apple Music below.

You can also stream the single on all other streaming platforms.

Categories
Featured Interviews Music Reviews

Inspire The Mic: A Conversation With Adelle Nqeto

Inspire The Mic is all about local music industry creatives trailblazing a name for themselves with their team overseas: while always remembering home. The first artist we focus on and speak to Pretoria native, Adelle Nqeto, to get more insight into her life and art.

She has been performing live in the music scene since 2012 at festivals and venues all over South Africa as co-founder of Flint, Meet Spark with bandmate Josh Pretorius. Performing mostly solo since 2015, the newly Berlin-based, South African born singer-songwriter has been wowing audiences during her travels. Her mix of self-aware lyrics mixed with catchy grooves has helped propel her to inspiring heights in 2019. Fresh from releasing her 2nd EP in May called “Home”, performances in Germany with trailblazers such as Beatenberg & Cape Town’s Frances Clare, a feature in Bahrain on 2Seas Session with James Robb to performing all over SA — Adelle is going places. I had a chat with this exceptionally talented storyteller to find out more about her.

image of Adelle Nqeto
Image credit: Sune van Tonder & Susan van Tonder

Adelle, your music has taken you all over the world, which is your favorite city to perform in and what made it special?
I like playing in smaller cities, because of the anonymity and also the surprise of seeing who shows up to shows, and their response to the music. So, Halle in Germany was a surprise. But when I was home in May, we played an amazing show in Soweto, and actually, every time I’ve played there I’ve only had the best experience.

Congratulations on your latest release in May called “Home”. What was the creative process like compared to your first EP?
Thank you! This was vastly different. We tracked the trio (drums, bass, guitar) live on “Home” and I definitely think I had a clearer vision for this EP, and a sound in mind when creating it. I’d also been playing the songs with my band already, so there was definitely confidence going in that I didn’t have with “Lights”. I think “Lights” was a great training ground and that process helped me clarify how I wanted to record “Home” differently.

If you could choose one festival or music venue to perform at it would be…
This is so hard. But playing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert would be pretty great and my drummer James would be stoked.

Which solo artists or bands inspire your soul currently?
Tough question. I’m listening to Thom Yorke’s “Anima” quite a bit, Nils Frahm, all the different projects which Shabakah Hutchings is involved in and The Japanese House.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I don’t know about EVER, but I know right now I’ve been reading some of Audre Lorde’s essays, and something she says has struck me quite strongly: “what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

When you were at school in Pretoria did you ever dream of being a musician or what did you think you would become? 
Yeah, I dreamed of being a musician since I was a child. I never thought it would be something I’d end up getting to do as a profession, I thought I’d end up being a lawyer, or a human rights activist or involved in social justice in some way.

The Berlin music scene looks like it’s on another level. What can we do better in South Africa to improve and get our scene to an international level?
I think diverse venues would help, but this is a long conversation that I think has a lot more to do with other social/economic factors. I also think that developing an appreciation for arts/culture from a young age is important.

image of Adelle Nqeto
Image credit: Sune van Tonder & Susan van Tonder

What does the rest of the year hold for you and do you have any goals you want to achieve in 2020?
I’m going to be going on tour in Italy in October and cannot wait to start writing and recording some more music. There’s a lot I’d like to achieve in 2020, I hope more touring is involved, as well as playing music with people I care about.

Follow Adelle Nqeto on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.

image of Adelle Nqeto

 

 

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Culture Events Featured Music Reviews

KuduKudu Presents 010: Nalu & HANNA

KuduKudu Records, founded by Diamond Thug’s Danilo Queiros, are back with the heat at one of Cape Town’s finest music venues, The Raptor Room on Saturday 31st August 2019.

image of Kudukudu Records Presents
Early bird tickets are available here.

KuduKudu is an Artist-Centric Independent Record Label operating out of Cape Town, South Africa. Their core focus is helping Independent South African Artists reach global audiences. For KuduKudu Presents 010, it’s the turn of two of Cape Town’s best with RnB & Soul Singer/Producer, Nalu, joined by Zimbabwean born rapper-singer Hanna. Lock in Saturday, 31 August!

With almost 10k views on YouTube of the lovers anthem of 2018, ‘’Bedtime Confessions’’, these two incredible Artists are not to be missed.

Their August party sees Kudukudu working alongside @shesaid.so and #inclusionbeforeprofit. They will be donating their share of the party’s profit to the campaign. You can learn more about the campaign and make contributions here.

Come give your ears and soul an experience they deserve.

Find out more about the event here.
Get your tickets here.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

Introducing Boyes Drive: In Conversation With Frontman Liam

Have you ever watched a band jam for the first time and are immediately hooked? This is what happened to me the first time I witnessed Boyes Drive play live at a packed Striped Horse in Muizenberg, Cape Town recently. The Boyes have soul, their songs are super catchy, the production is excellent and the music will make you forget about any worries you have. They are the real deal.

The band consists of Liam McDermott (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Ray Morgan (drums), Jono Simons (bass and backing vocals), Gareth Christie (lead guitar) and Bradley Searle (keys).

I had a chat with frontman Liam to find out more.

Firstly, when and how did the band start, have you known each other for a while or did you meet through mutual friends? I get the feeling that you all get on quite well and that the chemistry is solid.
Boyes Drive started in April 2018 and was the first time Jono Simons, Ray Morgan and myself started playing together. I’ve known Jono since High School days. He’s been motivating me since I was 17 to start singing and writing music. Boyes Drive wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for our drunken nights. Ray played in a band with Jono previously but I was only properly introduced to him a couple of months before we decided to start a band. We’ve all been Boyes in arms since.

You must be super excited about your debut single release of ‘Jamalamo’, many congrats! What was the creative process of the song and how have you found the reaction to the track so far?
JAMALAMO. We used to start our rehearsals with pure jams. Improv all the way. The bouncy guitar rhythm came from one of those. Ray saw potential in it and started bringing the song to its current form. I had written the lyrics before but for a slow song literally half the time. The jam was so good I had to sing something and those were the first words that came to me.

I was at your single launch a few weeks ago at Striped Horse Muizenberg and the crowd was wild! I’ve never seen so many beautiful women at one gig before in my life. Was does the support of Muizenberg mean to you and did you expect so many people there?
I’ve never seen so many beautiful people in one room! We had no idea it was going to be anything like that. We all felt lost in the moment. The love and support we are receiving, be it from family, friends or my fellow people of Muizenberg means the world to us. We write our music honestly and the fact that people appreciate it means music isn’t dead. People want substance.

Is there anything you feel the local music scene needs to fully reach its potential?
I don’t know if I have enough insight or experience to answer this but with that said I do feel there are two things. Everyone in the industry needs to work together. The South African music industry needs to become an entity.

How does the song making process work when creating music for Boyes Drive, do you all write together or chip in ideas to make it all flow?
I write the chords at home on my guitar and the lyrics late at night. I bring my progressions and my lyrics to the Boyes and they tear it apart and put it back together. Each of us needs to enjoy playing the song. If all of us are having a good time playing it, we know it’s right.

You have had a taste of music festivals now with your debut at Up The Creek in Feb, how was that experience and are there certain places you would like to play in the future?
Up The Creek was an experience. To be able to play on a stage of that size with that sound was incredible. I had never done anything like it before. All I want to do it play on a stage like that again.

Which local artists/bands are you most excited about currently and would like to possibly collab with down the road?
We’ve got a little family going on at the moment that started on the dance floor of Up The Creek at 4am. Money for Bali, The Steezies and Fractals. We’ve decided that later on in life we will start a super group called ‘’THE STEEZIE MONEY FOR FRACTAL BOYES’’. It’s gonna happen. In terms of collaboration, I’m a huge fan of Southern Wild. I absolutely love their sound and would love to do a song together some day.

image of boyes drive
Image supplied.


What does the rest of 2019 hold for the band, any new music videos around the corner or exciting gigs to come?

In 2019, we’ve got plans. Our 2nd single ‘Dive’ was just released which is exciting. It was recorded at Mountainside Studios which will eventually lead to an EP release in the second half of this year, resulting in a lot of promotional gigs. We are going to try extend our reach by doing a tour in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Tell them we are coming. If you haven’t seen Boyes Drive live yet I would highly recommend it. Catch them live at The House Of Machines tonight if you are in Cape Town or follow their socials below to find out when they are in your area code.

Follow Boyes Drive on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube.

Listen to the latest single by Boyes Drive titled Dive.

Categories
Featured Music Premiere Reviews

Diamond Thug heals our souls with ‘Tell Me’

High flying Cape Town based dream-pop band, Diamond Thug have been really busy lately. After the global success of their 12 track debut album from late 2018, Apastron, they have returned with a fantastic new single called ‘Tell Me’.

Diamond Thug are Chantel Van T (vocals and synth), Danilo Queiros (bass and synth), Adrian Culhane (vocals, guitar and synth) and Ted Buxton (drums). The band show us their incredible skill set on ‘Tell Me’. The world class sound, inspiring lyrics and beautiful vocals instantly puts your mind in a better place.

‘’Tell me my friend, what’s life in your head, oh tell me my friend.’’

‘Tell Me’ is executed flawlessly and this track is bound to be a hit when Diamond Thug perform it on their upcoming European tour.

Diamond Thug say that the new track ‘Tell Me’ is “an empathetic song which touches on dealing with the acceptance, how suffering is a shared experience of all of life, albeit to differing degrees. Through our suffering, we are healed and can offer our healing to others in the form of sharing experiences.”

Tell Me is the first release of a three-part series about Diamond Thug’s much anticipated EP called Gaiafy, which will be released on the 24th May.

Stream ‘Tell Me’ and keep an eye out for Part II of this series set to drop in mid-May when the next single ‘Aphotic Waters’ will be released. Find out more here.

 

Categories
Featured Interviews Music

Cape Town Based RnB/Soul Singer, Songwriter & Producer Nalu Brings Love In Music

Sometimes when you listen to a song for the first time, the music really gets into your soul, you feel a sense of happiness and a calm aura moves all over your body. You suddenly have a goofy smile, your head starts nodding, your body grooves and your feet can’t stop tapping. Instantly, you are in a better place.

These are the incredible sensations I felt after listening to Cape Town based RnB and soul musician producer, Nalu Luvdust. Her message is all about love and being comfortable with yourself — a reminder that things in life can be pure and simple.

I had a chat with Nalu to break it down about her musical journey to date, speak about new music on the way and what inspires her spiritually.

Hi Nalu, one with the waves. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me about all things music today. Your music is so fresh and real, your lyrics are carefully crafted and the tracks you make are meaningful as they have a great message. What inspires you to write and make beautiful music each day?
My writing is my form of journaling. At the very moment that an emotion, experience or wave of energy passes through me — I write, immediately, whether I’m at home, in my car or out with people. I whip out my notepad and I write, because I know that whatever triggered that emotion was raw and that rawness will fuel the truth within my music. Eventually, with writing, I craft a whole concept and by translating this concept into beats and lyrics, I make peace with it — whether it be something troubling or uplifting. I allow the feeling to pass through me. Nothing is more powerful than listening to song that truly resonates with you. A song which makes you reminisce and accompanies your memories perfectly. I’m inspired by authenticity, by my experiences, observing the experiences of those around me, and the emotional analysis thereafter. The most piercingly honest works of art often make for the most soothing healing experiences – not only for the listeners, but for the artists, themselves. I find that my music is empowering to both me and my listeners. My music serves as a reminder to feel and feel fully, to allow your emotions to consume you, engage with them, be gentle with them and then, lay them to rest and flow on.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician? Was there a moment that triggered the process or did it happen naturally?
I grew up with a trombonist as a father, a pianist as a mother and a clarinetist as a older brother. I was birthed into music, into a family of musicians and dancers. My grandparents on both sides were singers at church and all my aunts and uncles were either members of the church choir or orchestra. I started singing and dance classes at the age of four at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, and started playing the guitar at the age of eight. By the age of ten, I had written my first single – a very simple chord progression with innocent vocals – and it was then that I knew that I wanted to express myself through music for the rest of my life. I give thanks everyday for being born into a family who nurtured me through music in this way. It is one of the biggest blessings.

image of cape town basd singer, producer, and songwriter - nalu
Image credit: Katinka Beste

What do you think the Cape Town music scene needs most at the moment?
Cape Town is an extensive hub of beautifully diverse artists. From indulging in its RnB n Soul to electronic to pure jazz — I find inspiration in all of it. The biggest issue I find in this city’s music industry is the lack of accessibility for an artist to make it big, to be valued, powerful and credited for their talents. Too often I hear Capetonian artists planning to move to Johannesburg or abroad in the hopes of expanding their success. I think that we need a greater buy-in from Capetonian listeners. We really need to support our own more.

You looked like you had so much fun making the Bedtime Confessions music video, any plans to make more videos in 2019?
The Bedtime Confessions music video was so much fun! My team worked together so freely, everything was fluid. The vision that I had for that video was a true depiction of what it means to love. My team and I brought my soul and mind ideas to life in a way that surpassed my imagination. I am so grateful for being able to create something like it. I’m releasing my first mixtape in April 2019, and thereafter, some visuals and singles will be popping off! I’ve got so much cooking. Concurrently, I’m finishing my final year at university so my academic grind is going to be at an all time high this year but I’m excited to take full advantage of my free time in between to bring more colours to my sound.

Are there any local acts that really excite you at the moment, perhaps even enough to collab with?
Nothing makes me fall in love like a 7th chord in a guitar riff and some lofi distortion. Artists like Nufi, Saat and SoundsLikeLove have really mastered these music languages and I’d love to create with them. I’d also like to work with artists who have a very different sound to me; the challenge is alluring. I’m inspired by artists such as Black Coffee, Youngsta, Dwson and Bougie Pantsula. I’d love to work with rap lyricists and fellow queer womxn of colour Hanna, who featured on Bedtime Confessions, and Nyota Parker. The spiritual connection that exists when working with other queer womxn of colour is incomparable to anything. In my experience, it has always been this motion of digging deeper on a soulful level, womxn to womxn, struggle to struggle, to reach mutual enlightenment through the music.

image of cape town basd singer, producer, and songwriter - nalu
Image credit: Carl David Jones

What kind of music are you currently listening to currently, local or International, at home or while you are out and about?
I really listen to everything under the sun. Classical music helps me find clarity in my mind while 1930s jazz helps me release and engage with my emotions. Deep house makes me feel good and whole, while lofi relieves me from my anxiety. I dissociate when I listen to music. I turn off the world around me and tune into myself. This question is so tricky because I really listen to every strain of this form of art, depending on the state of my being and what I need in order to center myself.

What are you goals for the rest of the year, musically and personally, what would you like to achieve?
I can’t answer this question without giving away too much about my mixtape but know this; everything is intentional, and my purpose is light. My goals for this year both personally and musically are intertwined — I want to the people who exist in my space and listen to my music to feel heard and understood, and with that, loved. I want them to know that what they feel is valid and it can be translated into something beautiful, something pure. I’m pursuing this mission through my releases this year, but for now, everything is top secret! You’ll just have to wait and listen.

Where can we find out about your upcoming gigs and music releases?
All information about my mixtape release and upcoming gigs will be available on my Instagram and my Twitter accounts: @naludez. A Nalu Music Facebook page is under construction and will be launched with my mixtape in April 2019. Thank you for this wholesome conversation. Peace and blessings to Nusoulhub Radio and to its readers, today and every day after this.

Watch the beautiful music video for bedtime confessions by Nalu featuring Hanna.

Follow Nalu on SoundCloud and Spotify.

Featured image credit goes to Jerjus Bitumba.

Categories
Featured Interviews Music

A Real Conversation With Al Clapper of Androgenius

The music industry is full of smoke, illusions and big dreams. Sometimes, it’s really hard to see what is completely real and what is totally fake. One of the most charismatic and truly honest people in the Cape Town scene is without a doubt, Al Clapper, the lead singer of exciting Soul Hop band, Androgenius, who keeps it real 24/7.

Androgenius is a four-piece outfit comprised of songwriter and leader Al Clapper, bassist and co-songwriter Alex Mayers, drummer Ray Morgan and guitarist Callum McDonald. I had a chance to chat with Al to discuss everything music related and his answers certainly didn’t disappoint.

Thank you so much for taking the time to have a chat about your band’s latest track ‘Soulless Solace’, music biz life, as well as your upcoming EP. You have described your latest release ‘Soulless Solace’, as an original song about darkness, disguised by a sound wall of groove. What mindset were you in when you made the song and what does the track mean to you?
I wrote the lyrics and melody to the song a good two years before Androgenius was even a thought. I was playing for another band — Indigo Child— at the time, but I thought the sentiment was too dark for that sound. I was working as a floor wench (so much cooler than waiter) at the time, a super fun place that promoted hedonism all the way. It was and still is something I find very easy to give into, hedonism. The track is about a battle between hedonism and my conscience. I don’t necessarily want to paint the picture that I am a crazy addict or anything, but I do have my struggles, my ups and downs, and I feel a deep need to be honest about it. When I brought the music to Alex, he immediately thought that the song needed to groove. The groove was inspired by ‘70s band, Chic. This took the song to a new level, where enjoyment comes first. If you want to listen to the lyrics, you have the option.

The band have been super busy lately I see! What shows do you have coming up that you are super excited about & what are goals for 2019, what do you have cookin’ in the kitchen?
Actually, no. We aren’t that busy. We sort of missed the season train because we were so caught up in getting the grunt work done. Now that we’ve come up for air, all the venues and festivals have already been booked [laughs]. It’s okay though, ‘cause we’ve also decided to be a lot more strict about the shows that we play. We’ve set financial standards that allow us to take ourselves, our music and our efforts seriously. We’ve had a few run-ins and experiences with bookers and promoters and we’ve had to decide whether or not we’d compromise. That being said, we do have a show coming up on the 15th of March with Apollo (second one we’re doing with them…HUGE VIBE!) and Julia Robert at Mercury which we’re super excited about. And we have the Cape Town Carnival on the 16th as well. The rest of the shows will be determined by when we lock down single releases. I’d say that getting the music out there is the main goal this year. By the end of this year, we would have released both EP 1 & 2, and we would have made serious headway on the debut album.

How did Androgenius form, was it through friends or did it just happen thanks to the universe?
Hmm, I’d say it was a bit of both. I’d been introduced to Alex Mayers (bassist, arranger, producer, musical director for Androgenius) when I tried to put together a cover project. That fell through, but I’d already made the connection. When I finally decided it was time to start up my second project (Lord knows I was heartbroken after the first band had disbanded), he was the obvious go-to. It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life [laughs]. He took control of the reigns and slowly but surely pieced together the rest of the band. Callum told us that we needed him after he’d seen our first performance. We didn’t contest that at all. We did need him. So yeah, Callum, myself and Alex are the only remaining original members. We don’t have a permanent keyboardist at the moment and Ray Morgan has replaced Jarryd West. Big shoes to fill, the biggest, but our boy Ray’s killing the game and taking names about it. It’s perfect!

image of cape town based band androgenius
Photo credit: Paige Fiddes Creative

I read somewhere that you are very keen to play in Paris, France. Which other countries or festivals would you love to perform at?
Oooh, you ‘read somewhere’? That makes me sound a little bit famous, like I interview regularly [laughs]. I mentioned that to My City By Night, yeah. Prague is another place I want to spend some time in. Ah, and then of course Ghent in Belgium. The European market are so much more willing to listen to new music than the local scene. Without singling anyone out, I feel like Cape Town has a sound. Many bands have adopted it and it’s working. The audience is happy. The bands are being booked over and over. But where’s the hunger for something fresh? Where’s the imagination? I’m not saying that music is dead. I’m saying that consumers are complacent, because it seems that all that the majority want is what they already know. Live a little, y’all!

Name 3 local or International artists you would love to share the stage or make music with & why?
On the local front, we’ve had the opportunity to play with some dank bands. Bands that I love and respect, but I’ll only mention those we haven’t played with as yet: Freshlyground (please can this happen already), Nonku Phiri (this lady is EVERYTHING) and Card on Spokes because Shane Cooper is a GOD! But now I also want to add a new local band that I love: The Tiny Fantastics.

International: Moonchild (who are coming to the Cape Town Jazz Festival this month), Corinne Bailey Rae (she’s my everything) and ooooh, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles (who are ALSO coming to jazz fest). I’m adding a fourth because this question is unfair: Tank and the Bangas.

How would you describe Androgenius in one sentence?
Music on a mission to move and groove you.

image of cape town based band androgenius
Image credit: Paige Fiddes Creative

What do you think the Cape Town music scene needs most at the moment to grow?
People to take risks: bands, listeners, festivals (ESPECIALLY FESTIVALS) and event bookers.

You always have incredible imagery as a band and your social media is on point, who helps you with this and do you have any tips for new bands when starting out?
I’ve been working in the digital marketing and social media space for a number of years now. I’ve worked with a lot of different brands, so I’ve picked up on what I like, what I don’t like, and what I can apply to our image. With a name as strong as Androgenius, visuals are EVERYTHING!  I’ve also had the privilege to work with incredible photographers, designers and stylists who get what we’re going for and want to help. Paige Fiddes is a favourite of ours. We’ve done a lot of shoots together, and she always gets so excited when we start bouncing around ideas. She’s got so much to give, and she understands how to get the most out of us. She’s responsible for at least 80% of the images we have online.

We’ve also been lucky enough to have Angelica Luthi (one of my colleagues, in fact) as our designer. She is an incredible artist with an eye for FANTASTIC, so she’s been very instrumental in creating a consistent aesthetic. Advice for new bands creating an image? Honestly, it comes to you and not immediately. But instead of trying to create something that you don’t understand, go for something that resonates with you. Go for something that you are comfortable representing. People will see that. People pick up on genuine and people pick up on fake. If you wanna wear heels on stage, practice until it feels like you’re walking barefoot. If you want to wear makeup, own it. If you want to wear plakkies..don’t!

Check out ‘Soulless Solace’ below and watch out for Androgenius in 2019 and beyond, they are a band to watch and support.

Follow Androgenius on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Featured image credit goes to Chad Camarinha.

Categories
Featured Interviews Music Reviews

Cape Town band, Apollo, releases powerful track ‘Soldiers’

I had a chat with up and coming Cape Town based new-alt band, Apollo. They have just released their 3rd single called ‘Soldiers’. It might be their best and most powerful track yet. Formed in early 2018, this exciting 4 Piece features front-man and pianist Samuel Hyde, drummer Daniel Nambassi, guitarist Joshua Buchalter and, bassist and synth afionado Denise Onen.

Thank you for taking the time to chat to me about your latest single, ‘Soldiers’, your new sound and the local music business. ‘Soldiers’ is your 3rd release, what was the thinking behind the track and what does it mean to all of you in the band?
‘Soldiers’ represents the first time Apollo are commenting on the socio political climate around us. Previously, our songs have been a personal discovery into our lives. This time we are commenting on external forces. ‘Soldiers’ was written a year ago and has sat with us for a while now. It just felt like the right time to release it as a single. This track is very close to all of our hearts and it’s the one song we all gravitate towards naturally.

Apollo’s sound has certainly evolved, what creative processes took place to get here?
We are still currently in an exciting space, we’ve been around for a year as a band and have been working hard on developing our own sound. We’ve focused ourselves on The new-alt genre, this seemed to come naturally to us. It’s a box we’re comfortable being in — it gives us a lot of creative freedom to play around with genre and sound. Everything from alt-rock to electronic to funk. We are all connected to a playlist on Spotify that we add music to for each other to listen to. This way, we are able to gain inspiration on new sounds together and the way forward musically. We are constantly discovering new music and trying to push ourselves in the writing process daily.

Which local artists and bands most excite you at the moment and who would you like to possibly collaborate with or perform on the same stage with?
Luckily we have had the opportunity to collaborate with a few of them already such as EMERGER– they’re a very exciting outfit. We also had the opportunity to perform with The World of Birds recently who were great. All of us in the band also enjoy the music of Beatenberg, Khuli Chana, Diamond Thug, Manu Grace and Opposite The Other.

What do you think the South African music scene needs most at the moment to fully flourish?
Working together, from fellow musicians, booking agents, managers, small venue owners, festival organizers to label reps and owners. We all need to see the bigger picture here in SA. We are in a budding industry full of potential and we all need to uplift each other to put a stamp on the global stage. It’s happening in many ways but we can do better.

image of Soldiers by Apollo artwork

How did Apollo form, did you meet through friends or through student days?
We met at different times but the common thread is we all met through music buddies and industry connections.

What does the future hold for Apollo and what is your ultimate goal?
The ultimate goal for any serious band would be to continue releasing as much music as we can and have it heard and received by as many people as possible globally. Right now to achieve our ultimate goal we have a set of smaller goals put in place, which seems to help us climb the ladder step by step.

What is one city or festival in South Africa or globally that you would love to perform at?
In South Africa, I think we would like to do a Kirstenbosch show, it’s really beautiful out there and a perfect setting for live music — something us Cape Townians take for granted. Globally, there are some incredible festivals in Amsterdam and Texas that just seem to pull on our heart strings.

You certainly go all out when playing live. If you close your eyes right now and visualize performing in front of an audience, what does it feel like when you are on stage?
An epic rush!

Apollo are a band on the rise and headed for great things so if you are in Cape Town, catch them live on the 15th March at Mercury Presents: The Ides of March with Julia Robert and Androgenius.

Stream Soldiers below.

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